So you want to take your startup or SME Global right? There are some things that you should look at when assessing whether the Global opportunities and markets are right for your business. Some general frameworks and tools exist such as Porters 5 forces, VRIO, SWOT analysis, and others which can help you map out your strengths and weaknesses, the competitive landscape and the macro environment outside of your current location. The global market can bring increased opportunity to realize cost effective strategies whether through marketing or economies of scale in distribution and manufacturing. You should take a strong look at your product as well and understand who your target customer is and if that would fit well within other markets. Often times many products need to be adapted to work overseas and this sometimes may even be as extensive as customizing it to each country.
The barriers to entry in foreign markets may not be easy to overcome and may take resources away from your core operating goals and needs. For example, just registering a Chinese domain name can take a lot of energy and preparing. Where as in the USA and abroad you can purchase a .Com website for 10 bucks without restrictions; just to purchase a Chinese domain often requires that you have a registered commercial entity in China such as in Hong Kong and that you also have a physical office there… and were not talking about just a PO Box setup. This is just the tip of the iceberg and remember that is just to get your domain online not even for a Chinese website that is correctly marketed to their culture and perspective. You can utilize great firms such as Transperfect.com to help you localize your marketing in different countries and translate your support tickets, knowledge base, marketing collateral, and more to be in the local format and language but that is really again just the start. All of those considerations were just for doing business in China let alone doing business in over 200 other countries… the very thought can be daunting even with Billions in the bank and expert management.
Often you will have to hire international staff to help with supporting international customers you may take on and the total cost of this picture has to be looked at ahead of time. Your organization will need to see if it is worth the energy and capital into staffing and all that it requires as compared to the potentials for revenue and profit that will be generated. The timeline that you will be able to recoup the investment may not be short and the investment may never be returned if the market ends up not responding well to your product. One way that you can shield yourself from some of the risk is by participating in a joint venture, equity partnership basically where a local entity that understands the culture and market better can take part ownership and manage some of the operations which may be outside the scope of your core competencies.
If you are looking to Globalize feel free to contact us at GlobalGoodMedia.com/contact to consult you on your strategy for entering new markets with your product!